Born in Boulder, CO; married; children: one son.
Home—Richmond, Surrey, England.
The Book of Loss, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 2005, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2006.
Julith Jedamus was born in Boulder, Colorado, but has lived with her family in England since the mid-1990s. She has a background in art historyand also a strong fascination with Japanese culture and history. It is this topic that spurred her to publish her first novel, The Book of Loss. The story is narrated by a twenty-nine-year-old aristocrat's daughter living during the Heian Period. A lady-in-waiting for the empress, she, along with her rival, Izumi, falls in love with Kanesuke, who was banished from the kingdom for seducing the emperor's virgin daughter. Both women start a vicious rumor to discredit the other and bring shame to their families. Eventually, as small pox and starvation fall upon the society, the unnamed narrator's own world comes crashing down as she becomes pregnant by another man altogether.
Many reviewers praised The Book of Loss. Writing in the Asian Review of Books, for example, Todd Shimoda appreciated how "details of the courtly life are woven seamlessly into the novel." Shimoda also enjoyed the characterizations, noting that despite the narrator's admitted "selfishness and her lack of strongly heroic qualities, we do not want her to give up the fight." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly commented that Jedamus "skillfully evokes the elegant aesthetic and elaborate pageantry of the Heian period." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews observed that "Jedamus's prose, like a prolonged haiku, captures the Japanese obsession with subtle natural detail and … serves historical verisimilitude well."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Asian Review of Books, May 22, 2005, Todd Shimoda, review of The Book of Loss.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2006, review of The Book of Loss, p. 428.
Publishers Weekly, April 24, 2006, review of The Book of Loss, p. 39.
Chatshow.net,http://www.chatshow.net/ (November 25, 2006), review of The Book of Loss.
Cusp of Something Web log,http://jaiclare.com/blog/ (July 14, 2005), Jai Clare, review of The Book of Loss.